- Title: LIBYA: Gaddafi-held desert town of Bani Walid defies Libya's new rulers
- Date: 6th September 2011
- Summary: NEAR BANI WALID, LIBYA (SEPTEMBER 5, 2011) (REUTERS) ROAD TO BANI WALID, NTC FORCES CHECKPOINT, NTC FORCES PARKED VARIOUS OF NTC FIGHTERS, SOME ATOP AN ARMED PICK-UP TRUCK, SINGING AND WAVING FIGHTER WALKS PAST CAMERA, CHANTING (Arabic): "God is greatest" FIGHTERS SWIVEL ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUN ON ITS MOUNTING ON TRUCK (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HASSAN MATI, NTC FIGHTER, SAYING: "We have come to support our brothers; we have come from various areas of Libya - Benghazi and others. I'm from the Western Mountains." VARIOUS OF NTC FIGHTERS IN ARMED PICK-UP TRUCKS, NTC FLAGS FLUTTERING
- Embargoed: 21st September 2011 13:00
- Location: Libya
- Country: Libya
- Topics: Conflict,Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA5UCQA4QRLIA2ERV9H3ACVMY70
- Story Text: Libyan forces on Monday (September 5) awaited orders to storm a desert town held by fighters loyal to Muammar Gaddafi after rounds of negotiation failed to dislodge them from one of the deposed leader's remaining bastions.
Military units under Libya's interim council are trying to winkle pro-Gaddafi forces out of Bani Walid, 150 km (95 miles) southeast of Tripoli, as well as the coastal city of Sirte and a swathe of territory stretching far into the desert interior.
There were mixed messages on Monday over whether negotiations with Bani Walid's tribal leaders were finally over. Mohammed al-Fassi, an NTC field commander outside Bani Walid said the door was still open for talks, but the council's chief negotiator, Abdallah Kanshil, also speaking at a location just outside of the town, said he had nothing further to offer and that negotiations were finished.
Reinforcements arrived on Monday at one of the main NTC forces' checkpoints outside Bani Walid.
"We have come to support our brothers; we have come from various areas of Libya - Benghazi and others. I'm from the Western Mountains," said fighter Hassan Mati, as his colleagues sang, with NTC flag fluttering from their armed pick up trucks. .
NTC officials have suggested that sons of Gaddafi or even the former leader himself may be hiding in Bani Walid, which like other besieged towns is cut off from normal communications. The region around Bani Walid is traditionally pro-Gaddafi.
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